Post-Doctoral Research Visit F/M Advanced numerical modeling for quantum metasurfaces

Contract type : Fixed-term contract

Level of qualifications required : PhD or equivalent

Fonction : Post-Doctoral Research Visit

Level of experience : From 3 to 5 years

About the research centre or Inria department

The Inria centre at Université Côte d'Azur includes 37 research teams and 8 support services. The centre's staff (about 500 people) is made up of scientists of different nationalities, engineers, technicians and administrative staff. The teams are mainly located on the university campuses of Sophia Antipolis and Nice as well as Montpellier, in close collaboration with research and higher education laboratories and establishments (Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, INRAE, INSERM ...), but also with the regiona economic players.

With a presence in the fields of computational neuroscience and biology, data science and modeling, software engineering and certification, as well as collaborative robotics, the Inria Centre at Université Côte d'Azur  is a major player in terms of scientific excellence through its results and collaborations at both European and international levels.


Atlantis is  a joint project-team  between Inria and  the Jean-Alexandre Dieudonné Mathematics Laboratory at  Université Côte d'Azur. The team  gathers applied mathematicians and  computational scientists who are collaboratively undertaking  research activities aiming at the design, analysis, development and  application of innovative numerical methods for systems of  partial differential equations (PDEs) modelling nanoscale light-matter interaction problems. In this context, the team is  developing  the   DIOGENeS  []  software suite,  which  implements  several Discontinuous  Galerkin  (DG)  type methods tailored to the systems  of time- and frequency-domain Maxwell equations  possibly coupled  to  differential  equations modeling  the behaviour of propagation  media at optical frequencies.  DIOGENeS is a unique  numerical   framework  leveraging   the  capabilities   of  DG techniques  for  the simulation  of  multiscale  problems relevant  to nanophotonics and nanoplasmonics.


Metasurfaces are planar structures that possess remarkable capabilities to manipulate light beyond what conventional optical components can achieve [1]. These intriguing flat surfaces have garnered significant research interest and have led to the development of efficient metasurface-based devices, such as achromatic metalenses [2,3], color holograms [4], and even metasurfaces with active functionalities [5,6]. While metasurfaces were initially explored for classical applications of optics, recent research has demonstrated their potential for quantum technology [7]. Unlike classical applications of optics, which use wave-like descriptions of light, quantum applications rely on the manipulation of individual photons to achieve quantum information processing tasks. 

Classical electromagnetic (EM) simulations are based on classical physics and describe the behavior of light as a wave. These simulations are often used to predict the response of metasurfaces to the incoming light, including the polarization, amplitude or even reshaping the wavefront [2,5,8,9]. However, when the interaction involves a single photon, classical EM simulations are not accurate enough to describe the behavior of the system. This is because classical physics assumes a continuous distribution of energy, while quantum mechanics describes energy as being quantized into discrete packets, called photons. Therefore, classical EM simulations cannot accurately capture the quantum mechanical effects of the interaction between a single photon and a metasurface. 

Main activities

In the present post-doctoral project, a first objective will be to formalize and develop the appropriate modeling tools to study the interaction of a single-photon and metasurface. In particular, we will rely on and extend the high order DGTD method initially introduced in [11]. The second objective will be to apply the developed numerical tools for designing qunatum information processing metasurface configurations. This post-doctoral project will take place in the Atlantis project-team at the Inria research center at Université Côte d’Azur in Sophia Antipolis. Moreover,  it will be conducted in close collaboration with our physics partners  for the theoretical physical modeling questions, simulation results interpretation and potential applications.

[1] Nanfang Yu et al. “Light propagation with phase discontinuities : generalized laws of reflection and refraction”. Science 334.6054 (2011), p. 333-337.

[2]  Mahmoud Elsawy et al. “Multiobjective statistical learning optimization of RGB meta- lens”. ACS Photonics 8.8 (2021), p. 2498-2508.

[3]  Meiyan Pan et al. “Dielectric metalens for miniaturized imaging systems : progress and chal- lenges”. Light : Science & Applications 11.1 (2022), p. 1-32.

[4]  Qinghua Song et al. “Ptychography retrieval of fully polarized holograms from geometric- phase metasurfaces”. Nature Communications 11.1 (2020), p. 1-8.

[5] Mahmoud Elsawy et al. "Universal active metasurfaces for ultimate wavefront molding by manipulating the reflection singularities". Laser Photonics Review (2023), p. 2200880.

[6]  Inki Kim et al. “Nanophotonics for light detection and ranging technology”. Nature Nanotech-nology 16.5 (2021), p. 508-524.

[7]  Tomás Santiago-Cruz et al. “Resonant metasurfaces for generating complex quantum states”. Science 377.6609 (2022), p. 991-995.

[8]  Mahmoud Elsawy et al. “Global optimization of metasurface designs using statistical learning methods”. Scientific Reports 9.1 (2019), p. 1-15.

[9]  Thaibao Phan et al. “High-efficiency, large-area, topology-optimized metasurfaces”. Light : Science & Applications 8.1 (2019), p. 48.

[10]  Weng Cho Chew et al. “Quantum Maxwell’s equations made simple : Employing scalar and vector potential formulation”. IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine 63.1 (2020), p. 14-26.

[11] J. Viquerat et al. "Simulation of electromagnetic waves propagation in nano-optics with a high-order discontinuous Galerkin time-domain method". Ph.D. thesis, University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Dec 2015.


Academic background: Ph.D. in Applied Physics or applied mathematics or scientific computing or electrical engineering.

Required knowledge and skills:

  • Theory and methodology: computational electromagnetics, finite element methods for PDEs, numerical optimization
  • Sound knowledge of quantum optics, nanophotonics, metasurface, metamaterial

Software development skills : Python and Fortran 2003, parallel programming with MPI and OpenMP

Relational skills : team worker (verbal communication, active listening, motivation and commitment)

Other valued appreciated : good level of spoken and written english

Benefits package

  • Subsidized meals
  • Partial reimbursement of public transport costs
  • Leave: 7 weeks of annual leave + 10 extra days off due to RTT (statutory reduction in working hours) + possibility of exceptional leave (sick children, moving home, etc.)
  • Possibility of teleworking (after 6 months of employment) and flexible organization of working hours
  • Professional equipment available (videoconferencing, loan of computer equipment, etc.)
  • Social, cultural and sports events and activities
  • Access to vocational training
  • Social security coverage


Gross Salary: 2746 € per month